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[Podcast] Entrepreneurial Lessons From the Founders of SF Sketchfest

When we think of entrepreneurship, we tend to picture startups and unicorns. But there are so many different types of businesses that revolve around taking risks. An event-based business is similar to a fast-growing tech company in the sense that both have goals of growth, attracting talent, and getting recognition from the press. So what […]


5 Tips for Taking Ownership of Your Online Persona

We’ve already discussed headshot no-nos, and given our field, I’m guessing you’re well aware of the power of positive and negative publicity. But are you applying your PR and communications smarts to your own personal brand, in addition to those of your clients? To take a deep dive into the importance of owning your online […]


[Podcast] Applying the Farm-to-Table Concept to Influencer Marketing

I’ve been thinking about the power of customer advocates and influencers a lot lately, not only because they’re part of today’s buzzword stew but because, in my role, I sit on both sides of the table. As part of my role at AirPR, I collaborate with influencers from a brand perspective and as a journalist, […]


Rick Liebling On The Power of 3: PR + Social + Tech

It’s been said that three is a magic number and when you stop to think about it, some of the best things in life really do come in 3’s.

Three-piece suits…three little pigs…three sheets to the wind…ok, maybe not that last one, but you get my drift.

In an effort to channel the power of three, we’re taking you on video exploration of the convergence of PR, social media, and technology.

To lead our triumvirate travels, we enlisted Unmetric’s Head of Global Marketing, Rick Liebling. A veteran marketer with more than 15 years of agency experience, Rick currently heads Unmetric’s marketing initiatives across the brand, product, and content communication strategies.

The long-time former PR practitioner turned global marketer is rocking at the center of social, PR, and tech, which make him uniquely qualified to speak on the shifts driving the landscape.

Rick operates under the firm belief that the vast amounts of PR and social media data available can be used to not only optimize all current efforts, but should also inform future decision-making across marketing. HEAR HEAR!

We sat down for a candid (and enlightening) conversation with Rick where he graciously shared his thoughts around how social analytics, PR measurement, and innovative technology can work together to demonstrate bottom line business impact.

Here are just a few of the tasty tidbits Rick offered up. All the videos are under 3 minutes and chock full insightful takeaways from one of the best in the biz.

Enjoy!

On integrating social media into the greater PR/comms strategy:

Rick Tip #1: Bring social media into the conversation early and involve them in the entire process from creative brief to ideation.

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LinkedIn’s leading ladies talk PR, tech, and changing the world

As a career professional, can you imagine a world without LinkedIn? It would be like trying to function without a pencil in a one-room schoolhouse. Ridiculous. LinkedIn has essentially replaced the need for business cards, since you can basically use it as a modern day Rolodex. #Connections. Furthermore, if you’ve ever looked for a job, […]


PR’s Past, Present and Future as told by Sally Falkow

When it comes to PR prowess and expertise, there are not many individuals who possess both in droves like Sally Falkow. As president of PRESSfeed and one of the industry’s leading minds on new technology and digital PR, Ms. Falkow brings over 30 years of PR experience to the table. Sal (as she often signs […]


Tech Talk With Sir Mix-A-Lot

I get a lot of email. Like, A LOT. My team often teases me that my inbox and calendar look more like an anti-productivity war zone than the carefully color-coded, organized chaos it actually is. There is a method to my madness, people! Back in January, I received an email that basically made my year, […]


How to hire: words of wisdom from our fave Chief Talent Officer

One of the biggest challenges young companies face is scaling. More specifically, how to put together a team with the right people; then grow and cultivate that talent as the company expands. If you’re an entrepreneur currently seeking engineers, you know exactly what I’m talking about here!

We color ourselves grateful to have some talented domain experts assisting us in finding the hungriest, smartest problem solvers out there to join our burgeoning company. Specifically, we’re grateful for Elizabeth Patterson, Chief Talent Officer at our lead investment firm, Mohr Davidow Ventures.

With over 20 years of entrepreneurial experience in the Technology, Lifestyle, and Consumer sectors, Miss Elizabeth is a rare breed. Not only is her breadth of experience vast and wide ranging, her passion is infectious.

After bugging her only once, she graciously offered to share some of her insights and expertise on what it really takes to attract top talent in today’s competitive market; and why cultivating community should always be at the heart of everything you do.

Elizabeth PattersonRebekah Iliff: As the Chief Talent Officer at Mohr Davidow Ventures, can you tell us a little about the responsibilities of your role and how you approach your relationship with the various companies in MDV’s portfolio?

Elizabeth Patterson: I lead Mohr Davidow’s strategy for attracting and securing top talent for our portfolio companies. Part of my charter is to help high-performance entrepreneurs hone their leadership effectiveness. One of the programs I am most excited about is our community event series, #MohrDavidowMeets, which is designed to inspire our entrepreneurs and fast-track connections. I feel it is important to always approach these relationships with authenticity and empathy.

RI: Since you you play a critical role in aiding the firm’s portfolio companies in identifying and securing top talent, I’m sure you’ve seen it all. What are 2-3 key takeaways you can share from those companies who have had great success in attracting top talent?

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Getting inside the brain of Shonali Burke

There are PR folks who get it; then there are PR folks who get it. Shonali Burke falls into the latter category.

As the CEO of a PR business, Shonali is:

#1 – A self-professed measurement + social media geek and constantly champions PR measurement (no wonder we love her).

#1 – An educator dropping knowledge on future public relations pros at Johns Hopkins University.

#2 – A PR conversationalist extraordinaire: as such she hosts the monthly Twitter   chat (on which I will be the featured guest tomorrow from 12-1pm ET #shamelessplug).

After running into Shonali at nearly every PR Measurement related event in 2014, I figured it was high time to transfer the knowledge from her brain onto digital paper and share accordingly.

So sit back, relax, and enjoy a peek into the wonderfully informed mind of Shonali Burke.

Shonali_Burke_fullshot-2
Photo by Cade Martin Photography

Rebekah Iliff: You’ve talked for years about “smart measurement” that is outcome focused. Give us a peek into the Burke brain: What’s an example of a recent objective you and your team identified and how did you work backwards from that goal to identify the associated KPI?

Shonali Burke: We recently wrapped a project with a client in the education space; they were launching a new online offering. Registrations were the ultimate goal, and they were using campaign tracking in Google Analytics very well. What we did was to ensure the creation of tracking links to the relevant page, so that we could attribute visits and conversions from our efforts – our strategy had a mix of earned, owned and paid media – as accurately as possible.

Based on traffic and conversion trends, we could see what worked (social and paid) and what didn’t so much (focusing on location too narrowly as opposed to niche and interest). That allowed us to pivot our strategy midway through the campaign and put more muscle behind what *was* working as opposed to what wasn’t… and ultimately reach the goal.

RI: Love the integrated approach. It is so important for PR peeps (and clients for that matter) to think beyond earned media. Given your propensity for metrics, what’s the one thing every PR pro needs to know about PR measurement as 2014 rolls to a close?

SB: There is no silver bullet.

RI: True dat. With that in mind, PR pros need to think carefully about how they measure and quantify their efforts. What are 2 of your favorite tools that assist you in providing your clients with smart measurement?

SB: I actually have three: Microsoft Excel (or Google Spreadsheets), Google Analytics… and the one thing we all have and should use – a brain.

RI: Ahhhh, yes. The almighty brain. Since you are constantly talking about PR measurement and metrics, what’s one thing you keep hearing yourself say over and over again that you wish the industry would just “get”?

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Dell, OneSpot, and AirPR on the New PR/Marketing Frontier

This week we bring you a guest post from Dell’s managing editor, the incomparable Ms. Stephanie Losee. Ms. Losee has been leading the brand journalism/content marketing charge for quite some time, so it only seemed fitting that we turn her loose on two of our favorite CEOs. We hope you enjoy this illuminating exchange!

Stephanie_Losee_HeadshotHow much longer are PR teams going to talk about “getting a seat at the table” of their organizations’ leadership? Steve Sachs, CEO of OneSpot, and Sharam Fouladgar-Mercer, CEO of AirPR are trying to put an end to that conversation. Both companies have launched platforms that attempt to give communications teams the numbers they need to prove their value once and for all.

Stephanie Losee: What do your platforms do? How do they compare to each other?

SFM headshotSharam Fouladgar-Mercer: AirPR is a technology platform to increase and measure PR performance. We currently have two products. Marketplace matches technology companies and innovative brands with the top PR professionals and small firms in the country. AirPR’s first-to-market measurement solution, Analyst, uses machine learning and proprietary technology to measure the ROI of PR. The product analyzes digital media activities from traffic to conversion to projected and/or actual revenue in addition to a variety of factors about your brand.

steve sachs headshotSteve Sachs: OneSpot is a content advertising platform. Many brands have done a great job of creating incredibly valuable, beautiful content, but they often find it’s extraordinarily difficult to get it in front of the right people. We help brands build meaningful audiences for their owned and earned content to drive business results by promoting their content in a very unique way. Our specialty is not just distributing content, but serially placing multiple pieces of content in front of the same user, individually targeted to their demonstrated interests. We call this capability Content Sequencing, and it’s something that only we offer. We’re complementary to AirPR in that we’re focused more on content distribution and sequencing.

SL: Which problem is your platform trying to solve?

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